Guests are in for an extra special treat this October Half Term as they can watch our new male white rhino settle into his new home!
Jabari is two years old and arrived from Dublin Zoo as part of the European Endangered Species Breeding Programme (EEP). He joins our female resident rhinos Kiri and Sula in their brand new exhibit, Wild Explorers.
Weighing almost two tonnes, Jabari’s arrival had to be carefully planned and staff from Dublin Zoo and Marwell Zoo gathered to lend a hand. Although Jabari could be comfortably transported on a large lorry, it took expert crane operators to lift him safely into his new home.
Collection Manager Ian Goodwin said the hoofstock keepers are very excited about the new arrival, he added: “It’s great to have a new male rhino in our collection and to make use of our fantastic new exhibit Wild Explorers. Jabari is starting to settle in really well and appears to be very comfortable in his new surroundings.”
Although Jabari is living next door to Kiri and Sula they are yet to meet in the large Wild Explorers paddock. Keepers will gradually introduce them to make sure all the animals are happy and settled. Currently visitors can see Jabari on his hardstand or in his house.
Ian added: “We have seen a positive reaction between him and our two female rhinos whilst they are living alongside one another, so we are really pleased.”
All five of the world’s rhino species are threatened by illegal poaching for their horns. Rhino horn has been in demand for the use in traditional medicines and for ornaments for centuries. For two decades Marwell Wildlife has participated in efforts to manage and protect the two African species; the browsing black rhino (Diceros bicornis) and its larger, grazing cousin the white rhino (Ceratotherium simum).
Many white rhinos are now found within national parks and conservation areas with intensive protection zones. These rhinos are still vulnerable and conservation efforts for this species must continue if it is to survive.
Marwell Wildlife continues to contribute to the conservation of both white rhino and black rhino in protected areas in Zimbabwe and Kenya. This includes rhino management operations, training of rhino monitoring personnel, provision of monitoring equipment, and technical support for data management. Marwell’s latest initiative is a study on the ecology of rhinos in the Matobo National Park in Zimbabwe and the affects of land use and management on their distribution.